Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Ah Spring. Daffodils, little lambs, longer daylight hours, new release wines and...Sauvignon Blanc/Asparagus pee!

Not everyone can smell this for some reason but those who can will never forget the unnusual smell that your pee has after eating fresh asparagus.
Drinking fresh Sauvignon Blanc has a similar effect and, as new release Sauvignon Blancs coincide with asparagus season there is usually some food and wine matching going on that exacerbates the effect.

What we are smelling is mercaptan (or thiol) which is is a compound that contains the functional group composed of a sulphur atom and a hydrogen atom. Thiols give Sauvignon Blanc that pungent 'cat's pee' character that we all love (or hate).
Mix this with the mercaptan character that comes from eating asparagus and wallop - you certainly know when someone has been..


Morality Guy said...

Gosh that's interesting.
(but must you use th 'P' word?

Richard Prowse said...

The children at Nuova Lazio high always talk about 'needing a piss', which I find quite revolting, especially coming from a female student. Maybe there's a little morality guy in all of us?

Anonymous said...

Hey, good post!
Reminds me of my mother's story of dear Uncle Ian eating beetroot and thinking he had prostrate cancer after peeing red.

THE WINE GUY said...

That image of your Uncle Ian's urine unfortunately is going to 'colour' my wine tasting experiences in the future.

On a related note I know that a reputable winemaker (and a big company name) added beetroot to red wines in the 60/70's to increase the colour of the wine.
Imagine the disconcernment of the late night revellers after a night of that. (certainly would have increased the oncology ward's business)